A Day in Paris

I started coming to Paris to lead bike trips in Europe a couple of decades ago. The company’s office is located in the French capital and just about every trip I lead started there in some fashion. At first, I hated Paris with a passion: it was big, dirty, loaded with tourists, and worse, Parisiens. I would lead trips for 2-4 weeks straight getting used to eating great food, drinking great wine, riding my bike, and being more or less the center of attention. Then, I would return to Paris, alone, turn in my bike, and was required to find (and pay for) my own meals.

Ugh.

Gradually, I began to enjoy Paris for its many charms, but it was not until I got married and had kids that I fell head over heels for the city that I now consider almost a home away from home.

When I was offered a press trip to Burgundy and Beaujolais, I instantly asked if I could add a day onto the front of the trip and visit some dear friends in the city. Arriving yesterday morning and leaving this afternoon, my time in Paris this go around was brief, but I did not feel the need to cram as much as possible in–I find it much more enjoyable to linger in my quartier, to relax and reacquaint.

In years past, I played tourist in the city, hitting all the monuments, standing in the serpentine lines, taking oodles of photos. More recently, my visits to the city are limited to my familiar neighborhood, the Montorgueil Quartier in the 2nd Arrondissment. It is one of the older parts of the city, and has changed considerably over the years that I have been coming here. I am not sure all of the changes are good, but nonetheless it is still my area of the city.

Despite landing with a cold and an incredibly sore back, I ventured out for a walk and to snap a few photos.

The epicenter of my neighborhood in Paris is the intersection of two small pedestrian streets.

Over one street from Rue Dussoubs is the vibrant Rue Montorgueil with one of the best cheese shops you will ever see.

At the bottom of Rue Montorgueil.

I then wandered over to Saint Eustache, an impressive church in a city of impressive churches.

Of all my visits to Paris, I had passed by Eustache countless times, but had never been inside. That changed today. Although the old girl, who was built in the latter part of the 16th Century, has certainly seen better days, it remains an incredible structure.

Outside of Eustache is a playful sculpture that usually has kids crawling all over it….

I then wandered over to the Louvre, a short 10 minutes walk.

Where I took in some of the “human art” performing for their loved ones outside.

Gratuitous shot of the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

I returned via La Place des Victoires, where I once won a $400 Billion bet for knowing who sits on top of that horse. Do you?

Finally back in the ‘hood. Time for a mulled wine and a Kir.

A portrait in cheese. Can you name them?

This visit to Paris was far too short, but as I mentioned above, I will be back–Paris, like for many, has an incredible power over me and I will return eventually, hopefully soon.

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About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
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18 Responses to A Day in Paris

  1. wineismylife says:

    Brie, Époisses & Comte?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. L to R, I’m going with aged Comte, Camembert, Epoisses. and nice choice on the drink to wash it down!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. CAwinegal says:

    All the cheese looks wonderful! Is the one on the left Gruyère (or Gruyère Compté) then a Brie and… I just don’t know =)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. okiewinegirl2015 says:

    Paris looks gorgeous. Your pics make me excited! I’ll be there for one day this January. Paris, j’arrive!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jimvanbergen says:

    Comté, Brie, Camembert is my vote.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Awesome post! I’m headed to Paris soon and I can’t believe I’ve never been to Rue Montorgueil. Your photo of the cheese shop will make this my first stop this trip!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So great to hear! The rather short street (probably less than a kilometer) has several bakeries, a couple of cheese mongers, two fruit stands, a butcher, a fish monger, several florists, countless cafés, and it is a pedestrian area. Fabulous!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Kerry says:

    Did you spend all of that $400 billion yet?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. tomsimard says:

    Wonderful photos

    What a great city. That it has the Musée d’Orsay is enough let alone all its other charms. I fell in love with it from my first visit in ’84.

    Liked by 1 person

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